how to “pander to sjws / feminists”: in depth characters and storytelling, non objectified female characters, characters of all manners of races, identities and backgrounds
how to pander to gamer boys: make titty wobble
Wow no wonder they don’t want to make games more accessible to women, they’d have to reveal their lack of actual talent.
What a nice response to the “sex sells” and “creative freedom” rhetoric which we’re well too familiar with.
The saddest part about this is – the games industry is full of talented people and they frequently have to throw away their best work because someone who is overpaid believes in a magic formula.
Then they end up promoting the wrong people and we end up with this guy.
Bringing this post back, since now the gamer boys directly accuse “pandering to SJWs/feminists” as the primary reason for anything they don’t enjoy about any game, like the glitches in Mass Effect Andromeda.
Particularly worth mentioning that these same voices are generally for more accepting and forgiving when it comes time to apply a critical lens to games like Scarlet Blade, Haydee or asset flips… and who conveniently claim creators should be allowed to do whatever they want when a short skirt is involved.
Tetsuya Noguchi’s work “Take armor Walkman walk walking round figure” (with commentary)
Japanese artist Tetsuya Noguchi creates many amazing works, including this brilliantly armored kitty cat and adorable owner (who likes his cat so much he added ears to his helmet).
Just think how amazing designs could be if this kind of creativity was encouraged with female Asian character designs instead of generic sexy ninja, weird demon princess/clone ninja, purple hair fetish gear ninja, and – of course – everyone’s favorite: ”tit ninja”
Guys, there’s so much room for amazing creativity if we just drop the toxic masculinity and compulsion to objectify every female character. Cute yet effective armor should be for everyone, not just pets.
So this ad popped up on my instagram. All I can say is… at least they acknowledged that the game is only geared towards heterosexual men?
I saw this on facebook. I’m not surprised, yet still disappointed.
Time to bingo that… thing.
At this point I’m so desensitized to random boobwindowy dress-lingerie-armor-thingies like this that I’m more distracted by her freakishly long legs than her boobs obviously slipping out in a second.
Think how much more amazing Nier Automata could have been if they’d made the bold artistic decision to make 9S more like this Eve cosplay by Leon Chiro.
So bold. So empowered.
‘Sex’ doesn’t sell. Erosion of female self esteem does. The feeling of superiority over women does. Turning women into ‘things’ to be studied, scrutinized & judged and then calling it ‘sex’ does.
Sex doesn’t sell. Objectification does
Sadiqa Thornton (via female-only)
This week’s throwback: a concise explanation of what people really mean when they confidently announce that ”sex sells”, which somehow is supposed to invalidate critique of hypersexualized media.
See also: Fighting Fucktoy | The immature and superficial portrayal of “sex” in video games
edit: The original poster of this quote seems to have devoted their blog to TERF (trans-exclusionary radical “feminism”) ideology, which we at BABD do not support at all. Trans women are women and feminism concerns all genders.
Nonetheless, Sadiqa Thornton’s words remain very much true to what we believe in, no matter who put them on Tumblr (if not the Internet) first.
Settling for the next best thing.
As a blog focused on criticism, there’s something we come across regularly in responses to our writing – insistence that we’re “never happy” no matter how much better a particular example is than most media we feature on BABD.
Readers (though mostly detractors) question why we can’t qualify something (mostly games) as 100% positive example if it does one thing better than the rest in its medium/genre/etc.
- Samus Aran is a formidable fighter and legendary female game protagonist, so it’s totally not a big deal that with every iteration of the character she gets designed as daintier, more conventionally feminine and runs around in skin-tight undersuit and impossible heels rather than her classic power armor.
- Metal Gear Solid has some fondness towards displaying male bodies… somehow that balances out every disgusting thing done to female characters?
- Overwatch has cast with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, therefore we should ignore how, despite that, most of its female characters are a very slight variation on the same “pretty” character mold and have costumes and poses that put gratuitous emphasis on their boobs and butts.
- For Honor’s character creation is equally divided between female and male warriors, so we shouldn’t point out how subtle differences in design and framing of female-only classes establish that the setting is still a (mostly white) men’s world.
- NieR Automata’s creator admits the main character is another skinny chick in high heels and with boob window, because of his personal preference instead of some convoluted lore-specific excuse… and that honesty means her design is beyond criticism?
It’s quite disheartening to have the audience insist that we should settle for media to be tiny bit better than mediocre and call it a day. That a game or its creator not being as bad as they could deserve to be awarded and held up as an example for the rest of the industry.
We refuse to set our standards so low that “her battle costume isn’t a literal bikini” or “has characters who are female in it” or “shows a male butt/chest sometimes” qualify a title as good, equal gender representation with no room for improvement.
Being better than a random asset-flipping game with stolen artwork in their web ads isn’t hard. Being better than your last project and learning from its mistakes should be a given. Simply not making asinine excuses for poor representation shouldn’t be applauded.
No-one is asking for perfection, but all creators should be held accountable for the product they’re selling, with its good and bad sides.
Popular media, especially video games, has a huge problem with fan backlash against lesser-than excellent reviews scores*. And this is not much different – expecting negatives not to be acknowledged because positives exist.
BABD in particular, instead of doing comprehensive reviews, is focused on female costume and character design compared to male ones. Yet even such specific topic can’t be talked about from both angles without someone decrying unfairness.
Does it really say more about us being negative and cynical or the fans being entitled and blind to any challenging point of view?
*The link leads to a satirical @pointandclickbait article, but the satire is not really all that exaggerated. Yes, really.
so not only is this Boob Armor appallingly ugly, but it’s extra inexplicable when you consider
they clearly goddamn know how to make lady armor without boobs, what the fuck happened?
Thanks to many readers who sent photos of the MCU Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok our way!
Remembering that Lady Sif from the same franchise always presented as “Stupid Hollywood Bullshit, But Demonstrates That a Completely Armored Woman Can Still Be Sexy AF” and her armor veered on the smoother side of boobplate, it’s sad to see Valkyrie’s breastplate fully embrace the vacuum-sealed aesthetic.
Is Valkyrie’s role in Marvel to always come in and bluntly remind us that female armor has to have hypervisible boobs?
What a spectacular way to ruin an otherwise cool costume design and the introduction of Tessa Thompson, a woman of color, in a role of Norse-inspired character.